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Movies That Strangely Predicted Real-Life Deaths

It's all fun and games when you're playing with a Ouija board, but what if the predictions the board makes comes true? Sure, it might only be due to coincidence, but whether or not you're the type of person who's inclined to believe in paranormal phenomena, it sure can be creepy. Potentially supernatural toys aren't the only way to get that spine-tingling feeling, either — we get the same chills whenever a movie accurately predicts someone's unfortunate death offscreen, and although that seems exceedingly unlikely, it happens more often than you might think. From an old kung fu flick to a timeless haunting, you won't believe how these classic films predicted some famous (or should we say infamous?) real-life deaths.

Game Of Death (1978)

Releasing a film posthumously is not something directors often shy away from, especially in 1978, which is when Game of Death was released five years after its director and lead actor, Bruce Lee, passed away. That's not even the creepy part. The plot of the film centers around an actor who fakes his death to avoid some angry gangsters. During the film, the protagonist is shot with a "prop gun" that turns out to have a real bullet in it. In 1993, Bruce's son, Brandon Lee, died while filming The Crow. An actor was supposed to fire an unloaded gun at Brandon, but a bullet fragment that was previously stuck in the barrel dislodged while shooting the blank cartridge. The fragment struck Brandon with same velocity as a real round (in this case a .44 magnum revolver). Brandon Lee died under nearly the same circumstances depicted by his father in Game of Death.

Demolition Man (1993)

Demolition Man didn't just bring us another Sylvester Stallone action classic, it foretold a high profile murder nearly a decade before it happened. Laci Peterson was horrifically murdered by her husband in 2002. Scott Peterson was convicted of killing Laci and their unborn son in 2004 and sentenced to death a year later. What does this have to do with Rocky's 1993 action flick? Demolition Man is a sci-fi film that involved a "cryo-prison" where criminals are frozen and put in cold storage. At one point in the movie, the prisoners who are frozen with Stallone's character and the criminal he caught appear on a jailhouse monitor. Whose name pops up? Scott Peterson — a name clearly chosen by an intern or some low level PA to fill the list, or a psychic who was working on set. In this film, the cryo-prison was where California kept their worst prisoners — their death row inmates. That gives us chills just thinking about it.

The Matrix (1999)

To say the prop designer on the set of The Matrix may have inadvertently predicted the worst act of terror ever inflicted on the United States of America is both unnerving and, more importantly, not meant to show disrespect to any of the fallen. However, it would be careless to skip over the expiration date on Thomas "Neo" Anderson's passport. The passport's expiration date is 9/11/01. Don't forget, it's supposed to be 1999 inside the Matrix, not 2199 which is considered the present day for those outside of it.

Poltergeist (1982)

Usually, haunted burial grounds and ghosts are enough to get people running away from the kids' room in Poltergeist. Unfortunately, there's something there that's even creepier. Whoever designed the children's room put up a fake Super Bowl XXII poster, which would be happening in 1988, a good six years after the movie debuted in theaters. You're probably thinking that they just wanted to avoid copyright infringement or something. And you're probably right, but that poster also predicted the day Heather O'Rourke, the little child star who was abducted by ghosts in the movie, would die. As Super Bowl XXII came around in 1988, O'Rourke fell violently ill before passing away a day later due to a cardiac arrest triggered by an intestinal stenosis. We'll let you decide if the poster was a coincidence or an eerie foretelling.

World's Greatest Dad (2009)

In World's Greatest Dad, Robin Williams plays Lance Clayton, a dad and English teacher whose teenage son accidentally dies from autoerotic asphyxiation. Clayton, not wanting the police or anyone else to find his son's body like that, makes it look like he just hung himself instead. He then forges a suicide note (and eventually a journal), which after being released online gets the school's students to care more for his son, who was actually a sour person in real life. Clayton lands a book deal from it all and eventually reveals to the whole school that the suicide note and journal were both fake.

Williams' portrayal of Lance Clayton, combined with his heartfelt characters who dealt with suicide in What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams, and Dead Poets Society, makes his untimely fate stand out even more. Nevertheless, it's sad to hear the beloved actor speaking out about loneliness, depression, and suicide in World's Greatest Dad, just five years prior to taking his own life in 2014.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

The "based on a video game" genre has never been a source of untouchable cinematic classics. Almost always, the journey from console-to-big-screen results in a movie gleefully savaged by critics. Among those punching bags: Alone in the Dark (1 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), Double Dragon (8 percent), and Super Mario Bros. (14 percent), one of the first big-budget, live-action movies based on a cartridge. 

While there's plenty of story, mythology, and characters in the MarioVerse to make a fun and compelling movie, the brains behind 1993's Super Mario Bros. instead made a dark and twisted sci-fi dystopian movie in which King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) is the dictator in a parallel dimension where dinosaurs evolved into humanoids. Near the end of this fine film, the two universes start to merge, and redundancies are eliminated... including the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center crumbling down. Super Mario Bros. eerily presaged the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 by eight years.

Batman Begins (2005)

There was once a time when Liam Neeson appeared in movies that weren't part of the Taken franchise, or ripoffs of the Taken franchise. Before he developed his famed particular set of skills, Neeson appeared in all kinds of movies, such as Schindler's List (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award) and Batman Begins, the daring and progressive first entry in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. The saga begins with wealthy orphan Bruce Wayne recruited into the League of Shadows by a man named Henri Ducard (Neeson), who also trains and advises Bruce on his way to becoming the Caped Crusader. 

Of course, every superhero and supervillain — Ducard is also Ra's al Ghul — needs a tragic trigger event, and for Ducard, it was the tragic death of his "great love," his wife. Four years after the release of Batman Begins, Neeson experienced a terrible life event similar to Ducard's. In 2009, his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died from an epidural hematoma after suffering a fall while skiing.

Evil Toons (1992)

In between his peak of fame as the star of the mystical action drama Kung Fu in the 1970s, and his late-in-life comeback in Quentin Tarantino's two-part Kill Bill saga, David Carradine starred in a lot of B-movies doomed to an obscure life of languishing on video store shelves and middle-of-the-night airings on cable TV. One of those is the 1992 release Evil Toons, which combines live action with animation, not unlike its contemporary Cool World. In Evil Toons, an animated specter terrorizes some live-action teenagers who take a job cleaning a spooky old house. The ghost comes out of a book given to the young ladies by an old weirdo named Gideon Fisk, portrayed by Carradine. Fisk ultimately hangs himself, a disturbing sight indeed. It's all the more unsettling after 2009, which is when Carradine was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room, a victim of accidental asphyxiation due to a self-pleasuring stunt gone wrong.